Starting Your Therapy Business

Some high-value, easy to follow steps for the self-employed therapist who is just starting out.

1. Market Research

Description

To investigate the needs of a group of people, exploring the problems they currently face, what keeps them up at night, and what solutions they would pay for.

Purpose

With a view to developing a product or service to fulfil these

Action

Find 3x or so potential clients and ask the following types of questions:


  • What problems are you facing?
  • What keeps you awake at night?
  • What do you currently do to manage these?
  • Have you ever used help in this regard?
  • What would you (ultimately) hope to achieve?
  • How much would you truly consider paying, and in what format?
  • Where would you normally look if you wanted to seek help?

2. Perfect Client

Description

To arrange the information coming out of the previous exercise into (one or more) client profiles that succinctly sum up the target market.

Purpose

Simplify developing a product or service to meet their needs.


Allow you to easily explain what you offer.

Action

Develop a pain / gain summary for each type of person.


This will not actually be one for each person you talk to, as you will most likely be able to group them together.

Example

pain-gain-map-238x300

http://www.gogamestorm.com/?s=pain

3. Offering Development

Description

Describe in detail what you propose to offer based on your new found understanding of the client and their unmet needs.

Purpose

Get a clear idea of what you need to deliver.

Action

Explain the features of your product or service.


Develop a product / service description, as per below:

Example

Restorative Yoga Class

  • 50 minute class
  • Maximum group size of 12 people
  • Central London location
  • 5x 10 minute (static) poses
  • Requires bolsters and props
  • Offered a drop-in, or book of 10 classes (10% discount)
  • Targeted towards joint mobility
  • Relaxing music played last 20 minutes
  • Begin and end the class with yoga sutras commentary oriented towards accepting difficult circumstances

4. Advertising Development

Description

Put together a sample adverting flyer based on your understanding of the client need and what you propose to offer.

Purpose

Describe what you offer to a potential client.

Action

Start by writing it in 5 simple sentences (or paragraphs) in the format:


  1. About the pain the client currently faces
  2. Your qualifications and how you can help 
  3. What you offer (features)
  4. The benefit to them it will bring
  5. What the future may look like with your help
  6. Include your name, picture, costs and location (important)

(Spend minimal time doing this given that it will need to be tested).

Example

Not feeling yourself lately? I am seeking people who feel ungrounded, out-of-balance or just pressurised by life; and/or who would just like to further their own personal development and growth. Often it’s as simple as feeling not quite “right” or fully present in life.


Craniosacral Therapy uses a light touch to bring a gentle awareness to areas of physical tension and emotional holding stored in the body. Many conditions can respond positively since Craniosacral Therapy promotes deep relaxation to improve the functioning of the whole body.


This is a wonderful opportunity to experience this powerful therapy.


* Feel more balanced and grounded

* Process previous events and memories

* Better handle your current situation

5. Idea Validation

Description

Show your ideal client your advertising flyer and ask them questions about it.

Purpose

Ensure your proposed offering is of value to your target audience.


(ie. there is an actual appetite and the desire to spend)

Action

Find 3 or so ideal clients to show your advertising flyer to. Then ask the following questions:


  • What was your first impression of what I’m offering?
  • Did it provide you with enough information to make a decision?
  • Would you consider using my help? (should you need it)
  • What would you hope to achieve?
  • If not, is there anything that could be altered to change your mind?
  • Would you truly spend what is being asked?
  • Anything missing that you would have liked/expected to see?
  • Was there anything that detracted you from using my help?

6. Partnerships

Description

Contact organisations, associations, clubs and other groups which are complementary to your offering.

Purpose

Partnerships are the easiest way to promote your product / service.


Get your offering out to market and in-front of your target audience with the least effort.

Action

  1. Make a list of the organisations, associations, clubs and other groups that provide complementary services to your ideal client.
  2. Draft an email to send (use the “elevator pitch” format below).
  3. Attach your advertising flyer.

Example

An example of a simple “elevator pitch” takes the following format:


For (target customer) who has (customer need), (product name) is a (market category) that (one key benefit). Unlike (competition), the product (unique differentiator).


http://www.gogamestorm.com/?s=elevator

7. Client Feedback

Description

Ask previous clients about their experience of your offering.

Purpose

Ensure what you offer is actually satisfying client needs and gather ideas for possible improvement.

Action

Ask the following types of questions to previous clients:


  • What was the major thing that therapy helped you with?
  • What was your original reason for attending?
  • How would you explain the benefits to someone else?
  • Would you recommend my services to others?
  • Is there anything I could do to improve my offering?

8. Advertising Feedback

Description

Ask people from diverse backgrounds and points of view (not just your potential clients) about your website/flyer.

Purpose

To ensure your website clearly communicates what you offer.


Make sure there are no unforeseen obstacles or missing information required in order to take you up on your offering.

Action

Find 3x or so people and ask the following types of questions:


  • What were your initial impressions of the website?
  • What is the purpose of the site, and is it clear?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • What is it that I am offering?
  • Is there a simple way to take me up on that?
  • Does the writing style suit the website?
  • Would you consider using my help? (should you need it)
  • If not, is there anything that could be altered to change your mind?
  • Any other comments or suggestions?
    (personal opinion is fine – please be honest as that best helps me)

9. Solicit testimonials

Description

Gather testimonials from clients who are genuinely positive about what they have received.

Purpose

Personal recommendations have a powerful impact upon those who read them. Having testimonials is an absolute must for anyone self-employed.

Action

The full implications of the following decisions need careful consideration before you decide to continue. Specifically:


  • What (if any) personal details you intend to share alongside the testimonial (eg. name, location, contact details, photo).
  • Where and when you intend to share the testimonial (eg. print media, website, email campaigns, newsletters).
  • Whether the client is happy for their details to be disclosed to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) if the testimonial needs to be verified as true and accurate.

It’s best to make personal contact first when approaching your genuinely happy client so that you can visually gauge their response to the suggestion and explain the full implications of the decisions above (remembering that you are already in a position of perceived power).


If you both choose to proceed, confirm what was discussed in writing and have them send through a formal reply – you need a clear record for yourself and any ASA enquiries.

Example

This is an actual quote from one of my Craniosacral therapy clients which I use on my website:


“I found all sessions with Frank really beneficial both physically and emotionally. Appointments were relaxing, invigorating and wonderfully supportive. I often walked away with a renewed sense of calm and restored objectivity. I continue to benefit weeks later. I’d certainly recommend Frank’s work to others.”

Frank Ray

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